Top Mistakes for Small Businesses to Avoid When Interacting with Social Media Followers

Interacting with Social Media Followers

If social media doesn’t currently feature prominently into your brand’s overall marketing strategy, you should correct this mistake posthaste. Well-managed accounts on the web’s most popular social platforms can increase brand awareness exponentially and make thousands of prospective patrons aware of your business’s existence. One of the main appeals social media holds for many users is the ability to instantly connect with a wide assortment of brands, celebrities and public figures. As such, if you want your followers to feel personally connected to your brand, you’d do well to avoid the following missteps when interacting with them.

Taking Too Long to Respond

The more responsive you are to your followers, the more comfortable they’ll feel sharing their thoughts and opinions with you. On the flipside, accounts that rarely – if ever – provide responses to thoughtful comments and inquiries are generally seen as cold and unapproachable. So, in the interest of distinguishing yourself from said accounts, make a point of responding to as much feedback as you can.

In addition to providing responses to your followers, make an effort to do so in a timely manner – especially during normal business hours. No one relishes waiting lengthy periods of time to receive responses, and being as expedient as possible with your replies can be a great way to show your followers how much they matter.

Of course, this isn’t to say that every comment warrants a reply. While most of your followers are sure to appreciate receiving them, many commenters don’t expect responses to the feedback they offer. However, whenever a follower poses a question or leaves a particularly thoughtful comment, common courtesy dictates that you offer an appropriate response.

Displaying Inadvertent Rudeness

When interacting with people on social media – or in any other digital capacity, for that matter – it’s very easy to project rudeness without intending to. Since text-based communications lack many of the subtleties of in-person interactions, it’s hardly uncommon for people to inadvertently come off as curt or inconsiderate. With this in mind, make a point of putting genuine thought into all of your interactions on social media. Before hitting “send,” carefully read through each message and take note of any parts that may potentially be construed as less-than-polite.

By extension, when attempting to joke around with followers, take a moment to ask yourself if they’re likely to recognize your remarks as jokes – or to find them funny if they do. Unsurprisingly, if you develop a reputation for offering up rude responses, followers will be far less likely to comment on posts or become invested in your brand.

Handwaving Legitimate Complaints

Since social media provides people with a direct line to their favorite brands, it shouldn’t come as a shock that many of us submit complaints to various brands through social platforms. While dealing with complaints is never enjoyable, there’s a right way and wrong way to go about it. The former entails acknowledging complaints, apologizing for any inconvenience caused as a result of your actions and promising to make things right. The latter entails being dismissive and rude to people who submit complaints – or ignoring them altogether.

The last thing any business wants is a reputation for handwaving legitimate complaints. If you display an inability or outright refusal to see things from the customer’s perspective, you shouldn’t count on the support of existing patrons or expect to attract large numbers of new ones. You may not agree with every complaint that comes your way – in fact, some are likely to be downright unreasonable – but approaching each case with empathy and courtesy can effectively deescalate uncomfortable situations and illustrate the deep appreciation you have for your patrons’ support.

Taking Troll Bait

Many social media outlets – and indeed, many online forums in general – are crawling with trolls. The more popular your accounts are, the more likely they are to attract the attention of trolls and other unsavory characters. Many of these individuals gain enjoyment from causing trouble and drawing others into arguments. In fact, some of them will go as far as possible to get a rise out of you.

While maintaining your cool amidst attacks from trolls can be a challenge, you’d do well to ignore them. Engaging them in arguments gives them exactly what they want and encourages them to continue hassling you. Instead of wasting your time with these individuals, you should opt to ignore them – and block them altogether if they become vulgar, belligerent or threatening. Reporting them to the proper site administrators is another effective way to get trolls out of your hair.

Not Working with Seasoned Pros

If your efforts at social media interaction – or social media promotion in general – leave quite a bit to be desired, you should reach out to a dedicated web marketing company. The right company will be well-versed in all things pertaining to social media for business and be able to steer your social media efforts in the proper direction. Knowledgeable pros can provide assistance with everything from crafting engaging posts to being found in social media searches to having fruitful interactions with followers.

A solid focus on social media can be a boon to your brand. Maximizing your presence on the web’s most prominent social platforms is a great way to spread the word and make potential customers aware of your enterprise. Since being able to reach out to brands is one of social media biggest draws, it’s important that you put genuine effort into your interactions with followers. To help ensure that you’re able to win people over and keep followers engaged and invested, steer clear of the faux pas discussed above.

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